Back when gas was $3/gallon and the White House belonged to a man whose every policy had the oil industry in mind, a story like this never would have occured. Rather than sending a crew of men to steal a chunk of driveway from a rural Oklahoman like a pack of fraternity guys absconding with a rival house's flag, T. Boone Pickens would have handled things very differently.
He would have walked up to the guys door, handed him a check for $1,000,000 and told him to get the eff out. Then, he would have mounted the entire property on his custom made rocket ship and transported it to the hall of fame museum he created for himself in Texas.
When your net worth crashes from the billions to merely the hundreds of millions, though, you have make cuts somewhere. And if it involves petty theft to make ends meet, and maintain your ego, so be it.